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Post-streptococcal disorder (PSD) is actually a group of autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder occurs when your own body’s immune system begins to mistakenly attack your own organs. PSD affects the central nervous system or other organs and is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus (GAS). Post-streptococcal disorder can cause problems with the heart and joints, and can also cause psychiatric and sleep disorders.
PSD is caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). GAS is a type of bacterium that is found on the skin or in the throat. If you have GAS, you may not experience any symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, the most common are:
When PSD affects the central nervous system, symptoms may include behavioral changes, such as:
PSD can also lead to negative emotional changes such as:
PSD can cause you to have the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder—a type of anxiety disorder that causes people to experience repeated and undesirable thoughts, ideas, feelings, or behaviors that make them feel a compulsion to do something, such as counting and arranging things, hoarding things, or repeatedly checking things
PSD has also been known to lead to chorea—which causes spontaneous, rapid jerking movements.
GAS can also cause post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. This is a disorder of the kidneys that can occur at any age, but is most common in children between 6 and 10 years of age. Symptoms include:
Your doctor will make a diagnosis of PSD based upon your signs and symptoms.
If your doctor suspects you or your child is suffering from post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (GN), he or she may recommend the following tests:
There is no cure or even medication that directly addresses PSD. Instead, treatment is focused on relieving symptoms and limiting your long- term risk for complications.
For emotional disorders and behavioral changes, treatment may include:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is treated using a combination of medication and therapy. Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs include:
Your doctor may also prescribe:
Your doctor may recommend that you reduce your salt intake to reduce swelling and lower blood pressure.
The outlook for PSD depends on which parts of the body it affects. Disorders of the central nervous system may be managed with the right combination of medication and psychotherapy. There is no specific treatment for post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. However, your doctor will help you manage your symptoms, and the disorder generally will improve within a few weeks to several months.
Possible complications linked to post-streptococcal GN include:
Written by: Corinna Underwood
Published on Aug 20, 2012
Updated on Feb 15, 2013
Medically reviewed by George Krucik, MD
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